America’s mega rich are funding both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush despite the glaring contrasts between the two and the now polarizing race they’re in. Statistics from the Federal Election Commission have found that of the 60 mega rich Americans, as many as 17 have donated to both Clinton and Bush.
The first major financial firm to lead the double donation pack was Wall Street’s own Goldman Sachs. The company, as early as March, contributed to both candidates’ presidential campaign kitties, something analysts claimed was typical of the financial advisory firm.
Wall Street historian Charles Geisst said, "Goldman likes to play both sides of the fence and that’s especially true of a race like this where either of these two candidates — Bush and Clinton — could ultimately be helpful to them.”
Analysts have pegged Goldman’s double donation on dwindling fortunes in light of the recent economic depression. The company hopes that a Bush or Clinton presidency would turn things around for the company through proper economic policy.
Goldman has the company of a wide pool of fence sitters. A significant fraction of influential and wealthy Americans are also ambi-supporters. The group that includes racetrack owners, media barons, chicken magnates, bankers and hedge fund owners has opted to bank on the two leading presidential contenders. "Why support just Hillary Clinton or just Jeb Bush when you can hedge your bets and donate to both?” is a common refrain.
Senior counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, Larry Noble, said the practice was good business positioning. According to Larry , "Some of them will say they believe in the process, but the truth is you usually see them giving to people who will be most helpful to them if [the politician] gets into office. They are not necessarily Republicans or Democrats they are business people first.”
An individual example of a bet hedger is David Stephens, the CEO of Mortgage Bankers Association. The chief executive donated $2700 to Clinton and another $2250 to Bush. Stephens, an avid housing economist, has said his chief priority is the housing industry in the U.S., which has taken a beating in the wake of the recession.
Stephens said, “I want to focus on candidates who best represent issues of housing.”
Another notable double funder is former Citigroup chairman Richard Parsons, who has contributed $2700 to both Clinton’s and Bush’s campaigns. Parsons is currently the senior advisor at Providence Equity partners Inc.
Another curious supporter of both candidates is the Head of Barclays business in Russia, Robert Foresman. Foresman has been tied to a Russian state owned oil company that supplies gas to over a dozen European countries. Foresman has contributed $2700 to both Clinton and Bush.
Other ambi-supporters include: Susan Evans, James Borynack, Stacey Lane, Jeffrey Levine, Thomas Flexner, Sara Morgan, James Richman, Leon Wagner and Shawn Seipler.
The act of double funding has been in existence for years. This recent data only reveals just how prevalent the habit is and just how cautious the mega rich are in protecting their business investments.